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U.S., Mexican Leaders Talk Nuclear Energy Collaboration

The presidents of the United States and Mexico, Barack Obama and Enrique Peña Nieto, on Friday discussed efforts to promote stronger nuclear energy cooperation between both countries.

Both men agreed to promote the use of nuclear power technology following Peña Nieto’s meeting with Obama at the White House. The greater collaboration will help the U.S. and Mexico strive towards clean energy goals and combat climate change.

"Both of our nations are committed to ensuring that the historic Paris agreement is fully implemented," said Obama at a joint press conference. "And we are going to keep on working toward the goal announced last month in Ottawa, generating half of the electricity in North America through clean power by 2025."

The deal in Ottawa was made during “The Three Amigos Summit” between Obama, Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Among the North American states only 37 percent comes from renewable energy sources and nuclear power. Yet between 20 and 25 percent of Mexican energy comes from clean sources such as wind, solar and nuclear. Another challenge may arise from a wide-ranging energy reform to break up the Pemex oil monopoly but also the privatization of the electricity sector.

Related: How Much Does The U.S. Spend Per Day On Petroleum Products?

Pedro Guerra Morales, the Electricity Service Coordinator for the Mexican Energy Secretariat, this month underlined the importance of nuclear energy for the government. Currently, nuclear energy powers 4 percent of Mexico’s total use, but the official hopes to add two nuclear reactors “on the medium-term” and three more from 2028 to 2030. Doing so, he claimed, would help Mexico reach the goal established last month in Ottawa.

In the meantime, Obama noted that representatives of the North American states anticipate meeting this autumn to discuss energy issues including greater use of nuclear power.

"With that goal in mind we are pursuing an agreement this year on sharing civilian nuclear technology," Obama said. "This fall our new U.S.-Mexico Energy Business Council will meet for the very first time to strengthen the ties between our energy industries."

By Erwin Cifuentes for Oilprice.com

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